The number of drink spiking incidents which have been recorded in Essex since 2016 have been revealed.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request, published by Essex Police, shows how many incidents of drink spiking were recorded in the county between January 2016 to December 2020.

Drink spiking is when alcohol or drugs are added to someone’s drink without their knowledge, according to the force. 

A spokesman said: "There are many different reasons why a drink may be spiked from a ‘prank’ to an intended robbery or sexual assault.

"Whilst a large number of people do report this, it is believed that many more cases may go unreported, due to either memory loss or embarrassment."

Spiking a drink is illegal and subject to a maximum sentence of 10 years if found guilty. If a robbery or sexual assault has taken place, the sentence will be higher.

According to figures, the highest number of drink spiking incidents took place in 2019, when 69 were reported to the police.

In contrast, the lowest number of drink spiking incidents reported to Essex Police were in 2016, when 14 were recorded.

Brentwood Live: All tables by Essex Police

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The number of drink spiking incidents were also broken down into victim gender, with 145 female cases recorded across the overall five-year period.

For males, there were 44.

Brentwood Live:

Victim age was also recorded, with 18-24-year-olds most commonly affected by drink spiking.

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The outcome for the recorded drink spiking incidents were also revealed, with two cases ending in charges.

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To view the FOI, click here.